Banská Bystrica

Banská Bystrica

Population: 83,056

The city of Banská Bystrica is located in central Slovakia. Banská Bystrica is the most important historical, cultural and economic centre of the central Slovakia. It is a seat of administration of the Banská Bystrica Region, one of the 8 regions of the Slovak Republic.

Banská Bystrica has all the trappings common to medieval towns in Slovakia. The first written reference about the city is from the year 1255. It has a ancient industrial heritage, a clutch of attractive churches, a leaning clock-tower, a square lined by burghers' houses, stretches of city wall, a castle and a town museum, containing information about all of the above.

But time did not stop here at the end of the Middle Ages. Moreover, was a centre of Slovak National Uprising (SNP) against the fascists during World War II.

The Námestie SNP, as historical centre, is now pedestrianised and the focal point of the town.

There is located the colossal Church of the Virgin Mary, the Matthias House, a 15th century late-Gothic palace, which is attached to the Church of the Holy Cross, In the same complex, the white cube with raised arcade is the former town hall, now a branch of the city art gallery. Opposite, the chunky barbakan, with Baroque tower, the Renaissance Benického dom, (Benický’s House), the Baroque Church of St Francis Xavier and, the dominant, ochre-coloured Thurzo HouseThe house now contains the Museum of Central Slovakia.

Away from the immediate centre is the Museum of the Slovak National Uprising, an essential stopping point during a visit to Banská Bystrica

Entering the 21st century, Banská Bystrica offers the sheen of the Europa shopping mall, a brief walk south of the main square, which is every bit as polished and well-stocked anything you can find further west.